Published: Fri, April 28, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Chance of 'major conflict' with N Korea

Ahn Cheol-soo, a presidential candidate who supports THAAD, said the USA should stick to its agreement and cover the costs.

Meanwhile, China's foreign minister Wang Yi too warned against military action to respond to the threat from North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes. But a pre-emptive attack isn't likely, USA officials have said, and the administration is pursuing a strategy of putting pressure on Pyongyang with assistance from China, North Korea's main trading partner and the country's economic lifeline. A US missile defense system called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense is being installed in South Korea.

"Trump seems to be testing South Korea's commitment to the Korea-U.S. alliance".

Asked if he considered North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to be rational, Mr Trump said: "He's 27 years old".

The chamber will take up the bill next week from House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce that targets North Korea's shipping and financial sectors with sanctions and attempts to crack down on the use of slave labor to fund Pyongyang. The deployment also sparked protests from residents in Seonjgu in the southeast, where the system is being deployed, and prompted a North Korean warning of retaliation.

Harris told the committee that the financial sanctions imposed against the North Korean regime by the United States and other countries have done nothing to slow North Korea's quest for weapons of mass destruction.

"With that being said, he loves China, and he loves the people of China".

The past few weeks have seen tensions rise on the Korean peninsula, with the USA administration dispatching its powerful Nimitz-class supercarrier USS Carl Vinson in retaliation for Pyongyang's latest missile tests and its show of force on the country's founder's day last week.

"I believe [Jinping] is trying very hard".

Tillerson's goals Friday were two-fold: Stricter global enforcement of existing sanctions on North Korea and strengthening the worldwide resolve on North Korea so it eventually disarms. "Absolutely", he told Reuters; there is no mention of the reporter interviewing the president chasing a handful of Tums with a Xanax after hearing this news, I'd like to think that happened in private. Trump seems to take things a step further than merely saying Kim Jong Un is rational, granting that he was put in a hard spot leading his nation at such a young age.

Asked if his past business dealings and relationships with Russian officials are helpful, Tillerson said they at least "don't have to figure out who this guy Rex Tillerson is because they've dealt with me for so many years".

Earlier this week the White House leaked the possibility of the USA abandoning the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Export-Import Bank of Korea said this month that South Korea could suffer up to 16 trillion won ($14 billion) losses from reduced trade and falls in Chinese tourist numbers over the next two years.

The two countries have been in a security alliance since the 1950-53 Korean war, and more than 28,000 USA troops are stationed in the South.

"He may be someone who, in many respects, we would say by our standards is irrational". But Harris said this is the "worst" crisis he's seen, and in a crisis, all it takes to start a war is for one side to miscalculate.

He maintained he wanted to resolve the dispute peacefully.

Asked whether he sees Kim Jong Un's regime as his biggest worldwide concern, Trump replied, "Yes, I would say that's true, yes".

As he left the House briefing, Royce said he expected the legislation to move quickly, as part of what he hoped would be a strong global effort to use every method possible to pressure Pyongyang to curb its nuclear ambitions.

Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of the US Pacific Command, said China has the capability to influence in effect North Korean behavior for a number of reasons. "The overarching goal here is to apply pressure on and find ways we can apply pressure collectively", he said.

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